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View Poll Results: What are your goals in genealogy?
Tracing all my ancestors 15 32.61%
Seeking the origins of my surname 2 4.35%
A combination of the above 18 39.13%
Other 11 23.91%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-19-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
149 posts, read 488,330 times
Reputation: 122

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Have you ever thought about just what you are trying to uncover in exercising your genealogical passion? Are you attempting to trace all of your ancestors going back as far as your can? Or perhaps you are following your surname back across the generations trying to find its origins? Or are you doing like me, going back a certain distance and then reversing yourself and searching forward again looking for living cousins?

I chose to go back to an obviously key event in my family's history, the American Revolution. It was then that my paternal 4x great grandfather, a loyalist, left New York for Canada. Going forward from that point, by following both sons and daughters so far I've uncovered some 2500+ living cousins. We have been a prolific bunch!

So ... what are your goals and what have you accomplished?
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:20 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,297,745 times
Reputation: 1305
I'm doing it for both plus. I am trying to trace my ancestors back as far as I can possibly go and hope to discover the origins of their names. I'm mostly working on the direct linage, but I will make note of any in-direct line especially if they have an interesting history. So far we have discovered that we are related to two Presidents and to one of America's first known artist by way of aunts, uncles and cousins. I am also hoping to learn as much of their life stories as I can about my ancestors. The sad part is I seem to find more info and life stories about aunts, uncles and cousins than for my grandparents.

My grandparents must have been pretty dull people.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,934,615 times
Reputation: 6242
I started out looking for my great-grandparents family and ended up being more interested in the complicated relationships these large families had.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:48 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,258,094 times
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Cool, a poll. I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Many relatives were, let's say, on the "other side of the law." Should be a lot of fun doing the research, though.

wyoquilter: "My grandparents must have been pretty dull people." There could be a few surprises, the deeper you dig. You know the saying, 'still waters run deep'
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:33 PM
 
11,907 posts, read 20,327,277 times
Reputation: 19256
My lofty goal is to try and track every "primary" ancestor I have. I defined that as the ones that first set foot in North America in each line...

Right now my "body count" is nearing 700... And I have 6 Pre-Revolutionary War lines. (sorry, poster -- so far all my family have been Revolutionaries)
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:09 PM
 
5,640 posts, read 17,288,922 times
Reputation: 3979
My goal is to put up a website. I have all the stuff, just SO busy I can't get to it. My goal is to find the towns/regions where everyone is from. I have accomplished a lot of this.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:37 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
30,385 posts, read 23,721,791 times
Reputation: 122224
Have answered national origin questions.

To know my families' histories.

To connect with history and understand what life was like in the past as much as possible.

To have fun!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:00 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,832 posts, read 13,595,869 times
Reputation: 11438
My main goal is to trace my branches back as far as possible but I'm not just a "name collector" - I also strive to learn as much as possible about each individual and family. I don't just find one source confirming some names and dates and move on - I try to find as many records of each person and family as I possibly can. And not only do I research the individuals but I also research the time periods and cultures of the people in my tree, to understand them as much as possible.

My other goal is to organize and archive all the info and photos that my grandmother collected (and which have been passed down through the generations) because they are currently just stored in boxes with no organization.

It's easy to find distance relatives on ancestry.com - it's so easy, it's kind of lost it's appeal. When I first started building my tree, I was so excited to see so many people who shared branches of my tree. But I quickly learned that most of them have NO interest in chatting. Most of them have lost interest in their tree and haven't logged into ancestry.com in months, maybe even years so they simply NEVER reply when you try to get in touch with them. At least that is the case for me.

That said, I would love to find distance relatives from certain branches of my tree. Certain branches seem to have an excessive amount of connections with other trees and then others are totally solo. I'd love to find living relatives from the currently solo branches.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,528,698 times
Reputation: 3737
I'm also doing the tracing for just about every reason all you previous posters wrote.

One interesting point I discovered regarding:
"I chose to go back to an obviously key event in my family's history, the American Revolution. It was then that my paternal 4x great grandfather, a loyalist, left New York for Canada." - poster
I also had some Loyalists - however, one particular family in Mass. didn't have a choice but to leave. Near the very end of the Revolutionary War, for a reason I've yet to truly discover/understand, this particular ancestor's home and belongings were confiscated leaving them with nothing. Whether they joined friends or family in Nova Scotia, that's where they went. Until this discovery, I was always under the impression that Loyalists made a choice to go to Canada, but in this case there was no choice.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
149 posts, read 488,330 times
Reputation: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
One interesting point I discovered regarding:
"I chose to go back to an obviously key event in my family's history, the American Revolution. It was then that my paternal 4x great grandfather, a loyalist, left New York for Canada." - poster
I also had some Loyalists - however, one particular family in Mass. didn't have a choice but to leave. Near the very end of the Revolutionary War, for a reason I've yet to truly discover/understand, this particular ancestor's home and belongings were confiscated leaving them with nothing. Whether they joined friends or family in Nova Scotia, that's where they went. Until this discovery, I was always under the impression that Loyalists made a choice to go to Canada, but in this case there was no choice.
That actually was very common. Families were harassed and driven out or forced to sell their farms (frequently far below its value) and move on. And remember, these families were the law-abiding ones. The lawful government was the Crown. The American Revolution was financed in large part by the confiscated goods and lands of these Loyalists.

Remember, history is written by the winners.
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